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EMD's, Old, Rebuilt and Untouched on the CNO&TP and Louisville District

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  • EMD's, Old, Rebuilt and Untouched on the CNO&TP and Louisville District

    This past Saturday (April 13th) the day dawned crisp and cool, without a cloud in the sky and the promise of warmer temps. The railroad radio and ATCS was alive with tons of trains, so Carmon and I decided to head out and see what we could find to point a camera out. While we stayed (relatively) close to home, it was one of the better days out I have had for awhile.

    NS was busy, and by the time the day was done we had seen over 20 trains in less than 6 hours. The morning started out with us following train 223 across the Louisville District (with a freshly rebuilt SD60E leading), allowing a few shots of that shiny new paint job in several places. After 223 dissapeared into the yard at Danville for a few hours of block swapping, we eased on down South to get into place for the Southbound pig parade. In less that 3 hours time, we shot 295, 229, 215, 285, 23G, 216, 264 & 224 PLUS a whole mess of manifest trains. With all those trains running, it was hard to move from one place to another without missing something, but considering the less than stellar power they all had, it was no big deal.

    After spending the afternoon with that all you could eat GE orgy, we started back towards home but not before we got lucky with a few more EMD's. A quick stop back by the yard in Danville netted a GP38-2 (running LHF) and a SD40-2 working the East side yard job. We spent a while sitting there listening to that pair drag a few huge cuts in and out of the yard making up train 200 for later that night, and then headed on West. I had heard train 375 out at the wye just North of Danville changing crews, so we headed there to see what he had. Luck was with us, as 375 had a great pair of former CR SD60's! We wound up following him back towards home, getting a few shots in the perfect evening light....not a bad way to end the day at all!

    Below are a few of my favorites from the day. The whole set of 18 new images are on Pbase, but spread across my galleries for the 1st and 2nd Districts of the CNO&TP and the Louisville District gallery. This link will take you to the main page, where you can check those out by clicking on each gallery. >>>> 2013 Rail Photography Photo Gallery by E.M. & Carmon Bell at

    NS 223 with SD60E #6939 leading, crossing Town Branch Creek, and then the Corning glass plant at Harrodsburg KY

    A new look for a old spot. Southbound 229 starts the long, torturous climb up to Kings Mountain, seen here passing through downtown Southfork KY on a perfect Spring afternoon. I have passed by here a 1000 times and my eye never caught this angle until yesterday. I think it will look even better in the fall.

    "Unmistakeably Southern" Even without a train in the frame, one quick glance at this image and you cant deny you are somewhere on the Southern RR. The station sign at Southfork KY with the old GRS signals mounted on a bridge made from freight car parts in the background could not be mistaken for any other road.

    Carmon gains a little altitude to frame up a shot of M43 at Bowen KY.

    "Time Machine" NS 5020 and 3232 pause under the yard tower at Danville Ky on a perfect Spring evening. This could have been taken 15 or 20 years ago, and that long hood forward GP38-2 could have been on the point of a hot pig train ready to burn up the rails on the 1st district. The reality is that they have been demoted to being lowly yard power, and even the tower itself is now closed, and probably destined to come down in the near future.

    Late in the afternoon, a pair of SD60's drag train 375 around the wye and onto the Louisville District main at Shuttleworth KY

    NS 375 at Harrodsburg, KY with that old CR RS3T horn sounding like a sick goose as it blows for all the crossings in town.
    E.M. Bell, KD4JSL
    Salvisa, KY

  • #2
    Speaking as a photographer, I think engines just look better running that way (if they where built to as you said)..that was a feature unique to the Southern & N&W for the most part, and the high hoods are falling fast.

    Now, speaking as a former engineer who spend half his time running with that long hood out in front (on engines that where NOT built to run that way) sucks! It was not much better with a unit that had the control stand positioned to run that still cant see all that well, but at least you don't go home with a crick in your neck from setting all cockeyed for 12 hours.

    We had 1 old geep on the LXOH that was sat up to run with the short nose as the front, but it still had the old "barrel" style throttle stand that was pretty much in front of the front window (manual transition to...but that is another story) That thing was a bitch to run backwards on the road...I would sit on the window sill half the time just to not have to contort my body to reach everything
    E.M. Bell, KD4JSL
    Salvisa, KY


    • #3
      Originally posted by jonnyseeandoh
      I caught an NS nuclear train at interchange and it had one of their high hood four axles that was configured for long hood forward running. Only we got it short hood forward, meaning I was going down the road sitting on the wrong side. Yep, it was a pain. We picked it up at a wye, and were it just freight I'd have turned the engine, but as it was I didn't think the armed guard in the caboose wanted to mess around very long.
      I bet it was purposely planned to run that way in the nuclear transport procedures written by feds and safety engineers. At the very least, some official probably requested the unit be run short hood forward. I doubt you would have federally been allowed to turn the engine.

      The radiation MIGHT be almost negligible, but you still want to have as much steel and distance between you and the nuclear cargo. And if something should go wrong causing a derailment at speed, again would you rather have the long hood protecting you from the crashing nuclear cars or the short hood ? They always purposely overkill the safety for anything nuclear.